Golden Century, a staple of Sydney’s Chinatown for the last three decades, has announced it has entered into administration and sadly closed its doors.

The iconic Sussex St eatery was popular for its giant lobster tanks and being a hotspot for politicians and celebs alike, and officially went into administration on August 17. The ABC reports that the restaurant’s owners were unable to sign a new contract, as the extensive COVID-19 restrictions were making it near impossible to keep the place afloat.

Seen by many as the place to go for a well-sauced business meeting or a late night feed, celebs like Lady GagaRihannaRod Stewart and Anthony Bourdain were known to drop by Golden Century while they were in town. If you weren’t watching the hypnotic slow movement of the crustaceans in the big tanks, or eyeing off the plates of snow crab, Peking duck, and snow crab, you were likely people-watching while sipping a late-night wine.

Golden Century was the great equaliser – you could wander in and see a whole range of people having a feed there, pulling apart freshly-caught shellfish and piling fried rice high on their plates.

Locals and far-reaching fans of Golden Century lit up social media with memories of their times dining in at the Sydney institution, which really makes the news hurt even deeper.

Administrator Desmond Teng has said that the restaurant has the potential to be “restructured and re-opened” in Sydney once the lockdowns ease, but has also had to let go of 60 staff with full entitlements, which is undoubtedly a huge financial blow for the Golden Century group.

Thankfully there’s a slice of solace in this truly trying time, with one person on Twitter giving the hot tip that the irresistible XO Sauce used by Golden Century’s kitchens can be bought from a grocer in Chinatown.

RIP to a real one, and fingers crossed it can rise from its own ashes when the time is right.

Image: Getty Images / Lisa Maree Williams